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1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-eight


Date:  Friday, September 20.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Shane Mack was 2-for-4 with a double.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Denny Neagle pitched four innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks and striking out three.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Julio Franco was 3-for-5 with a double.  Dean Palmer was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his eleventh and twelfth) and three RBIs.  Jack Daugherty was 2-for-4.

The game:  Singles by Chuck KnoblauchHrbek, and Davis plated a run for the Twins in the first inning.  While each team missed a good chance, the score stayed 1-0 until the fourth, when Palmer homered to tie it 1-1.  The Rangers took the lead in the fifth when Brian Downing walked, went to third on Franco's double, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

The Twins went back in front in the sixth.  Hrbek walked, Davis singled, Brian Harper had an RBI single, and Mack had a run-scoring double.  A wild pitch brought home one more run to give the Twins a 4-2 advantage.  That advantage lasted until the next half-inning.  Franco singled and Palmer hit a two-out two-run homer to once again tie the score, this time a 4-4.

The Twins finally took the lead to stay in the eighth.  Mack led off with a single, followed by a sacrifice/fielder's choice and a walk to Randy Bush which left the bases loaded with one out.  With two down, Puckett delivered a two-run single to put the Twins up 6-4.  Texas went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Gary Wayne (1-0).  LP:  Wayne Rosenthal (1-3).  S:  Aguilera (40).

Notes:  Al Newman started at short in place of Greg Gagne.  Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for him in the eighth.  Bush pinch-hit for Dan Gladden in the eighth.  Gagne pinch-ran for him and stayed in the game at shortstop.  Jarvis Brown replaced Sorrento and went to right field, with Mack moving to left.

Puckett raised his average to .322.  Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .311.  Mack raised his average to .310.

Carl Willis allowed two runs in three innings to raise his ERA to 2.47.  Terry Leach pitched a third of an inning and allowed no runs to make his ERA 3.03.  Wayne retired both men he faced to make his ERA 3.38.  Aguilera's ERA fell to 2.13.

Newman was 1-for-15 and 2-for-26, dropping his average to .197.

The losing pitcher, Wayne Rosenthal, was with Texas for a little over half of 1991 and also appeared in six games in 1992.  That was his entire major league career.  His numbers were 1-4, 5.40, 1.56 WHIP in 42 games (75 innings).  He didn't pitch very well in AAA, either:  7-12, 4.36, 1.45 WHIP.  He was a reliever his entire career and pitched well at lower levels, but topped out at AA.

This would be Wayne's only win in 1991. He would have fourteen of them for his career.

This was the first time in Aguilera's career that he reached forty saves.  He would do it again in 1992, the only two seasons of his career in which he had forty saves.

The White Sox defeated California 3-2 in eleven innings to avoid losing ground, but as we've observed before, time was running out on them.

Record:  The Twins were 88-60, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of Chicago.

In the East, Toronto lost and Boston won, so the Red Sox cut the Blue Jays' lead to 1.5 games.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-two


Date:  Friday, September 13.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-5 with a double.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his seventeenth.

Pitching stars:  David West struck out five in four innings of relief, giving up one run on two hits and two walks.  Gary Wayne struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Kevin Brown pitched seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk and striking out five.  Mario Diaz was 3-for-3 with two runs.  Brian Downing was 2-for-5 with a home run, his sixteenth.

The game:  Downing led off the bottom of the first with a home run, giving the Rangers a quick 1-0 lead.  The Twins tied it in the third.  Gladden and Knoblauch hit two-out singles, putting men on first and third, and a pickoff attempt went awry to allow Gladden to score.

Texas went back into the lead in the fifth.  Diaz led off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, took third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly, making it 2-1 Rangers.  The Twins again tied it in the seventh.  Puckett singled and Hrbek walked.  A double play moved Puckett to third and he scored on Randy Bush's pinch-hit single, making it 2-2.

Texas again went back into the lead in the bottom of the seventh.  One-out singles by Diaz and Downing put men on first and third and a ground out made it 3-2 Rangers.  The Twins again tied it in the eighth.  Gene Larkin drew a one-out walk.  Pinch-runner Jarvis Brown stole second and third and scored on a Knoblauch double to tie it at three.

The Twins took their only lead of the game in the tenth.  With one out Lenny Webster singled and Gladden walked.  Puckett's two-out single scored one run and Hrbek delivered a three-run homer to give the Twins a 7-3 advantage.   Texas got only one single in the bottom of the tenth.

WP:  Terry Leach (1-1).  LP:  Kenny Rogers (9-10).  S:  None.

Notes:  Pedro Munoz was in right field in place of Shane Mack.  Junior Ortiz caught in place of Brian Harper.

The Twins made extensive use of the bench.  Bush pinch-hit for Munoz in the seventh and remained in the game in right field.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Ortiz in the seventh and remained in the game at shortstop.  Larkin pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the seventh.  Brown pinch-ran for him and Webster then came in to catch.  Mack entered the game in the eighth in right field in place of Bush.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the ninth and remained in the game at third base.  I'm going to miss teams being able to make that many moves in September games.

Puckett raised his average to .328.  Mack was 0-for-1 and was batting .313.  Webster was 1-for-1 and was batting .400.

Scott Erickson started for the Twins but pitched just two innings, giving up one run on two hits and a walk.  He threw twenty-nine pitches.  I assume he came out because of his elbow.  He would not miss a start, however.

Erickson's ERA went to 3.15.  Leach pitched two-thirds of an inning scorelessly to make his ERA 3.06.  Rick Aguilera similarly pitched two-thirds of an inning scorelessly to make his ERA 2.17.

This was Leach's only win of the season.

Kenny Rogers was primarily a reliever in his first four years in the majors.  In fact, he led the league in appearances in 1992 with 81.  He made just twelve starts in those first four seasons before becoming a full-time starter in 1993.

Diaz was not in the starting lineup.  He batted for Jeff Huson in the fifth inning.

The White Sox defeated California 1-0, but again, time was running out on them.

Record:  The Twins were 86-56, in first place in the American League West, 8.5 games ahead of Chicago.

In the East, Toronto and Boston both won, so the Blue Jays remained in the lead by 3.5 games.


1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-nine


Date:  Tuesday, September 10.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 3-for-5 with a stolen base, his tenth.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Randy Bush was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Pedro Munoz was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifth.

Pitching stars:  Allan Anderson pitched five shutout innings, giving up three hits and a walk and striking out two.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Mark Gubicza struck out five in five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks.  Todd Benzinger was 2-for-4 with a double.  Brian McRae was 2-for-5.

The game:  Chuck Knoblauch reached third with one out in the first inning but did not score.  The Twins got the scoring underway in the third when Gladden hit a two-out double and Knoblauch singled him home.  In the fourth Chili Davis doubled and Mack singled him home, making it 2-0.

In the fifth Jorge Pedre led off with a double but nothing came of it.  In the bottom of the fifth Mack hit a two-out single and Munoz followed with a two-run homer to give the Twins a 4-0 lead.  In the sixth, a single and two walks loaded the bases for the Royals, but Jim Eisenreich struck out to end the inning.  In the seventh, Gagne and Gladden led off with singles and Bush hit a one-out double to put the Twins up 6-0.

Kansas City scored both of their runs in the eighth.  McRae led off with a single, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on a George Brett double.  Brett went to third on Benzinger's double and scored on a ground out to cut the margin to 6-2.  That was as much as the Royals would do.  The Twins added a run in the ninth when, with two out, Bush singled, Davis walked, and Brian Harper had an RBI single.

Kansas City did threaten in the bottom of the ninth.  Two walks and a single loaded the bases with none out.  But Aguilera came on to get a short fly ball, a strikeout, and another fly ball to end the game.

WP:  Anderson (5-8).  LP:  Gubicza (8-9).  S:  Aguilera (39).

Notes:  Bush was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Kirby Puckett was also given a day off, with Mack moving to center and Munoz playing right.

Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the eighth, staying in the game to play third base.  Al Newman came in to play second base in the eighth, replacing Knoblauch.

Harper was 1-for-5 and was batting. 317.  Mack raised his average to .315.

Terry Leach allowed two runs in 1.2 innings to make his ERA 3.10.  Aguilera lowered his ERA to 2.19.

I don't know why Anderson was pulled after five innings.  He made his next start, so injury is probably not a factor (although it's always possible he felt a slight twinge or something).  TK may have started looking at these games as tune-ups for the playoffs, since the Twins already had a big lead, or it could be that he felt like getting five shutout innings out of Anderson was a good thing that shouldn't be pushed.  He had thrown just sixty-six pitches, so it seems unlikely that was an issue.

I'm always a little intrigued when I run across a player I've never heard of.  This was the second career major league game for Jorge Pedre.  His fifth-inning double was the only double of his career.  A catcher, he played in ten games in 1991 and in four for the Cubs in 1992.  For his career he was 5-for-23, batting.217/.308/.348.  He was an eleventh-round draft choice for the Braves in 1986.  He hit well in Class A, but not much after that--.249/.303/.373 in AA, .228/.275/.351 in AAA.  He looks like your stereotypical good defensive catcher--I don't know how good his defense actually was, but you figure he must've done something to justify his presence on rosters.  Wikipedia indicates that he is now working at a refinery on their emergency response team.

The Royals used six pinch-hitters in this game.  Sadly, with expanded bullpens and the severe restrictions on September call-ups, this will probably never happen again.

The White Sox defeated Oakland 3-1 to avoid falling farther behind, but time was running out on them.

Record:  The Twins were 85-54, in first place in the American League West, 8.5 games ahead of Chicago.

In the East, Toronto led Boston by four games.